As adults, I feel we have multiple lenses through which we see the world. Most of us have more in common than we think and have similar wants and desires, but where the issues arise is the lens through which we chose to view certain situations.
As a Black man, I have a Black lens that allows me to see issues and situations differently sometimes from my white counterparts. That is not to say white people cannot see the same issues that affect Black people, but they are seeing it through a different lens. That also does not mean Black people cannot see the concerns of white people. It means certain situations are viewed differently, depending on your race, experience, knowledge, and openness. Our lens through which we view life through is multifaceted. Your culture helps guide the way you view the world and your current environment. The more lenses you must view life and situations through, the more well-rounded you will be. If you only focus on issues in the Black community, you will miss out on the great culture of other communities.
The same can be said across the board. Diversify your experiences, knowledge, and encounters to improve your depth of knowledge and your lens layers. As we move forward with our lives daily, we encounter various decisions, and the more prepared for life's curve balls we are, the better off we are as a people.
Use your lens to help others, to actively gain knowledge about topics in which you are not an expert, and for the common good. You can go through life in a bad mood or look at the bright side of life. Everything in life is not rosy, but as we cut back the thorns, we see the beauty of life's flowers. Be the flower and not the thorns.
Corey Carolina is an NSU graduate, North Tulsa entrepreneur and activist, and owner of Carolina Food Co.